Monday, October 19, 2009

Mystery of the Mundane: (4) Peregrini

The Irish Church of the Fifth Century was full of LIFE. Its founder, Patrick and those that came after him carried the Gospel to all four corners of the “Emerald Isle,” and beyond. As one writer describes them, “There was a passion for foreign missions in the impetuous eagerness of the Irish believers, a zeal not common in their day. Burning with love for Christ (and their neigbour) , fearing no peril, shunning no hardship, they went everywhere with the Gospel” (Edman).

These Celtic missionary wanders became known as the Peregrini.
The Peregrini, (among their number Columba, Columbanus and Aidan) journeyed to the nearby northern islands, the Orkneys and Faroes. Then on to Scotland, England, the forests of Germany, the rugged hills of Gaul, the foothills of the Alps, the valleys of the Rhine and the Danube, and to the cities and remote valleys of Italy. Some went singly, as hermits, others, in small groups, often numbering up to 13, imitating Jesus and the Twelve. Their numbers multiplied so greatly that they became a characteristic feature of Western Europe through most of the period from 500 to 950

One of the things that set these "peregrini" apart from the traditional missions of today was their approach. They went out on their journey open to the daily hardships and the mundane difficulties they would encounter. They were convinced that as they went they would be transformed into the image of the man that went about everywhere doing good and that this transforming work in them would be the catalyst for transformation in others. This caused them to go forward in great humilty and joy
graphic: Peregrini: Celtic Saint Icon

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